Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Looking for a New School for Your Child? 7 Questions to Ask

The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them. - Thomas Merton

What does it mean to be or find a good fit? We think about this all the time - whether we're looking for love, for a job, for a school, for friends, a church, and even shoes! In my own life I work with other doctoral students who are looking for a good fit in their research, in the composition of a committee, and then later for a university for a faculty position.

Fit.  How well do your choices fit you or you them?

At the end of every school year we evaluated whether our choice of schooling for our children still "fit." We had some parameters that needed to be met for us to think their current school choice was still the best fit.

  • Does he feel successful here?
  • Are his unique learning needs being met?
  • Are the teachers good communicators to both students and parents?
  • Does he feel safe?
  • Does he feel included?
  • Does he have opportunities to grow academically? Is he challenged?
  • Is he engaged in his own learning?
Although we all need to slightly adapt ourselves to new environments, there are times when we can and should look for that perfect fit. If you ignore the signs of a bad fit, all it leads to is pain. 

Sometimes we try to force fit a situation to our needs or our needs to a situation. I've worn enough pretty shoes to tell you that I pay for it either way! And many times those shoes end up gathering dust in the back of my closet because I can't handle the pain anymore. It's just not worth it.

I will not be a good fit for every student. Every school is not a good fit for me as a teacher. But if there are malleable factors you can control without losing who you really are, then maybe it's worth trying to fit. Just don't be like the Japanese who bind women's feet!
If you have to make some changes, make sure you take the individual into consideration, like in the movie Kinky Boots!
Great movie! I promise!!!